Chopper Blues Terrorize Baitfish in North Carolina

Big “chopper” bluefish “blitz” Ocracoke Island beaches, forcing big schools of smaller fish into the shallows and onto the sand to avoid certain death from frenzied blues with razor-edge teeth.

Bluefish chased these baitfish onto the beach.
Schools of baitfish died in an attempt to flee chopper blues. Martinsville Bulletin

Big bluefish have been abundant in some Northeast regions this fall, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina has plenty of the oversize and aggressive predators now.

Social media is showing the results of a full-blown “bluefish blitz” at famed Ocracoke Island that happened Oct. 14. Big schools of aggressive and toothy predator bluefish are shown in photos and videos chasing hapless smaller fish – mostly spots – toward shore.

In their frenzied fleeing to escape the slicing maws of bluefish teeth in a feeding-frenzy “blitz”, smaller fish commonly swim into inches deep water, sometimes even onto the beach committing suicide rather than perish at the jaws of blues.

That’s what happened on Ocracoke to giant schools of spots, and it is astounding to watch. Stunned Outer Banks tourists observed the carnage as pods of spots beached and killed themselves rather than face “chopper” schools, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer.

Facebook videos show the ocean boiling with fish in the surf, with people watching in awe.

“Bluefish have been blitzing the Ocracoke beach off and on the past couple of weeks,” reports Tradewinds Tackle fishing store on the Outer Banks. “Amazingly beautiful and tragic at the same time. Smaller fish (mostly spot) are literally throwing themselves onshore to escape the teeth in the water. Bluefish have lots of teeth and will kill anything they catch.”

More News